elected to fill Port
“I’ve been a person
who’s always worked hard for
what I have. I’m a person who
will take chances, but it has
to be an educated chance.
I feel I have an opportunity
to give back
to the community.”
Port of Walla Walla
has been elected
to fill the Port
of Walla Walla
vacant by the
Dr. Fred Bennett.
Dunning is owner of Dunning Irrigation
Supply in Touchet and a related irrigation
supply store in Nyssa, Oregon. He is also coowner
of Touchet Seed & Energy, an oil-seed
crusher for biofuels, and owns a farm.
Among other activities, Dunning is a member
of the Touchet-Gardena Lions Club; founder
of the Touchet Educational Foundation;
supporter of Future Business Leaders of
America and Future Farmers of America
through Touchet schools.
He attended Columbia Basin College and
with his wife, Dana, has four grown children
and seven grandchildren.
|Long-time Port Commissioner - Dr. Fred
Bennett - retires after 24 years leaving a
legacy of service, leadership, progress
It was 30 years
ago when Dr. Fred
Bennett decided it
was time to become
involved in “public
“I’d done plenty as
a college professor
and an engineer,” Dr.
Bennett explains, “I
wanted to do a bit on
the citizenship end.”
His “bit” included
election to four sixyear
terms on the
Port of Walla Walla
1991, 1998-2009) and opportunities that led
to related service on the Benton-Franklin-
Walla Walla Good Roads Association, his
becoming a founding member of the U.S.
Highway 12 Coalition and selection to the
executive committee of the Washington
Public Ports Association.
In addition, Dr. Bennett has been a
member of the College Place City Planning
Commission, Team Walla Walla, the Walla
Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce Board
of Directors and served on a host of
community task forces. For nearly three decades he volunteered with the College Place Fire Department.
Reflecting on his Port Commission career,
Dr. Bennett said, “We’ve done a lot of good
Topping his list of favorites is four-laning
U.S. Highway 12 from
Walla Walla to Pasco.
“It’s the biggest
thing we’ve done.”
he emphasizes. “And
thanks to support
at Federal and State
levels, we can be sure
it’s a project that will
successes in Dr.
record include the
completion of the
new Walla Walla
Terminal, the recruitment of Key
Technology to a Port built facility in the
Avery Street Industrial Park and successful
siting of the Railex Produce Distribution
Center near Burbank.
Dr. Bennett has high praise for the
“team” that makes the Port work.
“Thanks to the wisdom and commitment
of my fellow commissioners and the
dedication of the Port staff, we’ve
expanded our vision,” he explains. “We’ve
built a solid foundation for a vital, growing
community. Public attitude has changed
180-degrees during my tenure and it seems
as if every time we have a meeting we do a
After his final duties in December, 2009
Dr. Bennett begins a retired lifestyle that
will include travel and time with his family.
“There are far more pluses than minuses in what we’ve accomplished...and community members are becoming more and more interested in finding a part they can play to enhance the economic vitality of the region.”